NEW YORK – Cue Health said this week that it will develop an Omicron genotyping test for COVID-19. The test, which will be for professional use at the point of care, is being developed as part of the company's ongoing work with the US Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the San Diego-based firm said, adding it received additional funding from BARDA for the initiative. Cue Health did not disclose the amount of the funding but said it will go toward accelerating the development, validation, and regulatory authorization of a single-plex assay created solely to detect the Omicron variant in nasal samples. The test will be compatible with the Cue Health Monitoring System and the Cue Health mobile app. In March, the firm received the first US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization for a molecular, at-home COVID-19 test for use without a doctor's prescription.
Qiagen said this week it is collaborating with Atila BioSystems on noninvasive prenatal testing to leverage Qiagen's digital PCR technology and sample preparation. Atila has launched the iSAFE Noninvasive Prenatal Test Kit for use on the QIAcuity platform in singleton pregnancies. The research-use-only test can detect targets that may indicate trisomy 21-associated Down syndrome, trisomy 18-associated Edwards syndrome, and trisomy 13-associated Patau syndrome and fetal fractions.
Co-Diagnostics said last week it has completed its acquisition of Idaho Molecular and Advanced Conceptions for 4.72 million shares of Co-Diagnostics' common stock and 465,000 common warrants. The total value of the deal is about $50 million.
Vela Diagnostics said this week that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has started reimbursing for the company's Sentosa SQ HIV-1 Genotyping Assay. Providers using the assay with the assigned descriptor for therapeutic diagnoses can expect to be reimbursed at $725 using CPT code 0219U for HIV gene analysis, the company said. The assay leverages next-generation sequencing technology on the Sentosa NGS workflow and automates extraction, library, and template preparation, as well as bioinformatics analysis with reference to the Stanford University HIV Drug Resistance Database.
Thermo Fisher Scientific said this week that it acquired recombinant protein maker PeproTech for approximately $1.85 billion in cash on Dec. 30. Based in Cranbury, New Jersey, PeproTech offers cytokines, growth factors, and other recombinant proteins, which are used in the development and manufacturing of cell and gene therapies and in broader cell culture applications. The company will become part of Thermo Fisher's biosciences business and will be integrated into the Life Sciences Solutions segment.
Investment bank Craig-Hallum on Friday upgraded shares of HTG Molecular Diagnostics to a Buy rating from a Hold rating after the company reported Thursday that it expects its 2021 revenues to grow 5 percent over the prior year to $8.9 million. Calling the last two years "challenging" for HTG, Craig-Hallum analyst Alexander Nowak noted that it was prudent to remain on the sidelines. However, after considering early traction for the company's whole-transcriptome assay product, its potential as a "unique tool" to supplement or replace RNA-seq, the assay's "strategic workflow" capabilities, and its drug-discovery potential, Craig-Hallum upgraded the stock and raised its price target to $8.00 from $5.00.
Quantum-Si said this week that is has signed a lease for new headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut. The new 65,000-square-foot facility will house the company's offices as well as research and development labs. Quantum-Si plans to relocate to the new space in the first half of this year. It will retain its product development and operations facility in San Diego, which opened last year.
Indian genomics company Mapmygenome said last month that it has opened a laboratory in Delhi in order to meet demand for genomic testing, genetic counseling services, and preventive health tests in north India. The new laboratory provides COVID-19 PCR and antibody testing, blood testing, imaging, genomic testing, and genetic counseling.
In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on GenomeWeb.